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DUI vs. DWI in New York

Long Island DWI Attorney

Is There a Difference Between DUI and DWI in NY?

The short answer is no; there is no fundamental difference between Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). People interchangeably use the acronyms. However, the formal charge in New York is Driving While Intoxicated or DWI. New York has introduced another charge relating to intoxicated driving. That offense has come to be known as DWAI or Driving While Ability Impaired. DWAI is slightly different than DWI.

Make no mistake: these are all serious charges for which you could be sentenced to jail, face license suspension, and substantial fines and fees. In addition, a conviction for DWI will add points to your license and your car insurance will skyrocket. Additionally, there you will have a conviction on your criminal record into which prospective employers commonly inquire. Lastly, subsequent offenses have even stiffer penalties than first offenses. Therefore, you should not take these charges lightly.

Long Island DWI Attorney Explains, “What is DWI/DUI?”

The prosecution against you can prove DWI/DUI by using two complementary theories of proof. The first is known as the “per se law” which is driving with a .08% blood alcohol concentration or above. The per se law is also widely known as “the legal limit.” Additionally, the prosecution can prove alcohol intoxication by using circumstantial evidence as proof of your guilt. Circumstantial evidence comes in the form of police observations of driving, performance on field sobriety tests, the perception of alcohol consumption such as the smell of alcohol, bloodshot and watery eyes, and thick-tongued speech.

For a first offense DWI//DUI, you are facing up to one year in jail and between a $500 to $1,000 fine and six months of license revocation. The penalties substantially increase as the severity of the crime increases. In New York, DWI increases in severity when you BAC increases to .18% BAC or above which is known as aggravated DWI or you have previous DWI offenses on your record.

What is DWAI?

DWAI is also a crime. In New York, the police may charge a driver with DWAI if their breathalyzer result falls within the range of .04 to .07 BAC. If that is the case, then the police could levy a charge of DWAI-Alcohol. A conviction for DWAI-Alcohol is accompanied by a maximum 15-day jail sentence, a fine between $300 and $500, and a 90-day suspended license.

DWAI is not limited to alcohol. DWAI-drugs is a serious crime punishable by a fine between $500 and $1,000, six-month license suspension, and up to one-year incarceration in jail.

New York recognizes DWAI by a combination of drugs and alcohol. This charge is referred to as DWAI-Combination. A person convicted of DWAI-Combination may be punished by one year in jail, a fine between $500 and $1,000 and license revocation for one year. As with DWI/DUI, the potential penalties increase as the severity of the crime increases.

Call 888-DUI-LAWYER For Help With Your Long Island DUI DWI Charges

Long Island DWI Defense Attorney Richard Jaffe has represented thousands of people facing driving under the influence charges in Nassau County, Long Island and throughout New York. He is known as a fierce advocate for his clients and will aggressively fight to protect your license and reduce your charges. Call him today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation so you can mount a defense to your New York DWI charge and protect your future.

Source: NY State DMV


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